If you can't write, you're out

Whatever role you're after, whatever message you want to bring to the world, it's worthwhile practising your writing.

Communication is what we do. The device you're reading this on has several ways of communicating to others.

And even with cameras in our pockets, written word is still paramount.

School might've told you you're not good at writing. One essay without good marks is enough to make anyone think they can't put words on a page.

But most good writing doesn't follow any rigid structure.

Instead, it tells a story. It communicates an idea. It's like having a conversation with the person who put the words down.

That's how you can practice.

Pretend you're writing for one person. Pretend they've asked you a question and instead of speech, you're answering them with writing.

The usual roadblock is overthought. It happens to me. You think too hard about what you're writing instead of letting it flow.

The trick?

Let it flow. Then go back and remove what doesn't need to be there. The art is in the edit.

Attention spans are getting smaller. Books are turning into blog posts, blog posts are turning into Tweets, emails are turning into chat. It doesn't matter. Being able to craft a sentence is a skill you take anywhere.

The title of this post came from a podcast with Jason Fried, the CEO and founder of Basecamp. It's one of the criteria his team use when hiring. Even if they're a programmer, the first thing a new candidate has to do is be able to write well.


Because if you can write well, you can communicate your ideas well. And that's what we're all trying to do.

note showing what someone is working on and what they're thinking of doing next